Alternative concepts for modifying the policies and procedures under which the air traffic flow management system operates are described, and an approach to the evaluation of those concepts is discussed. Here, air traffic flow management includes all activities related to the management of the flow of aircraft and related system resources from 'block to block.' The alternative concepts represent stages in the evolution from the current system, in which air traffic management decision making is largely centralized within the FAA, to a more decentralized approach wherein the airlines and other airspace users collaborate in air traffic management decision making with the FAA. The emphasis in the discussion is on a viable medium-term partially decentralized scenario representing a phase of this evolution that is consistent with the decision-making approaches embodied in proposed Free Flight concepts for air traffic management. System-level metrics for analyzing and evaluating the various alternatives are defined, and a simulation testbed developed to generate values for those metrics is described. The fundamental issue of modeling airline behavior in decentralized environments is also raised, and an example of such a model, which deals with the preservation of flight bank integrity in hub airports, is presented.